October 30, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Massacre of 2011

My absolute favourite thing to do just before Halloween is carve a pumpkin. I have carved a pumpkin every year since I can remember, and now I look forward to continuing the tradition with my son.

 
The Great Pumpkin Massacre of 2011


I don't like doing anything crazy difficult, just a simple little face. Last year I made a girly vampire pumpkin, and this year I carved a cute little face that I tried to make look like my son: a cute little nose, a toothless smile, and just a little bit of hair on top of his head :)



October 28, 2011

DIY Day: The Mason Jar Project

A little while ago, I discovered a blog that had written a post about making lanterns out of mason jars (here). I love mason jars, and my mom just happens to collect them -- she used to be big on canning when we were younger. I asked her if I could have a few of them to make lanterns out of because I had seen a really neat tutorial about making lanterns out of mason jars. She gladly gave me a few, although she didn't have any giant jars, and she was reluctant to part with a few favourites.

Yesterday afternoon, after laying the little boy down for a nap, I set to work. I wiped the jars down with a wet cloth, and gathered all of my supplies. I wanted to take photographs of my work, but my camera died just as I was getting ready to snap a photo of the supplies. Instead, I have photographs of the completed jars, but the tutorial is really easy to follow.

The Line Up: My completed mason jar lanterns


I made a couple of slight variations, but that's the beauty of a DIY project isn't it.

1. I made the handle of the lantern out of the same piece of wire that wraps around the mouth of the jar. I simple created the little loop at one end, threaded the other end of the wire through, created another loop at the other end, attached it to the wire wrapped around the mouth of the jar, and then tightened the wire around the mouth of the jar. Voila!

2. Instead of using sugar crystals, I used the little round stones that you often find in fish tanks.


 
Two views of the way I wrapped the wire around the mouth of the jar


I love the feeling of having completed a project that I have been craving to do for a while now. It's nice to step back from the SHOP and focus on another project for a moment. These little lanterns are going to look fantastic on our patio during the summer months, but, for now, they will be hanging-out on the kitchen table as part of my centre piece.

October 26, 2011

Cookie Time!

Find the recipe here. I substituted pumpkin for apple sauce. 
Mmm...delicious :)

October 25, 2011

Ivan's Hair Day: A Before and After

The pup just had a haircut today.

He always looks so strange to me after all of his hair is shaved off, but he's cute either way :)


October 23, 2011

A Journey Begins

My husband and I had been trying for a year before we got pregnant. In the beginning, I was very anxious, and as soon as it would get close to my time of the month, I would purchase a pregnancy test. Each month that it turned out negative, I would become more and more depressed as my acquaintances on Facebook would continually have exciting statuses about their pregnancies.

About a month before we got pregnant, I told my husband that I had come to terms with the fact that we might never have children, and that, if we were to have children of our own, it would happen in its own time. We kept busy during that summer. I went on a trip to Las Vegas with a good friend, we went to a few concerts, took a spa vacation, and even ran a 5K/10K.

 Running my very first 5K at 5 weeks pregnant, unknowingly :)

I had reached the point where I didn't want to take a pregnancy test after being a few days late for fear that I would find out that I was not pregnant, and the next day my monthly visitor would arrive. It had been six weeks since the last visit, the longest I had gone without one. My husband told me that maybe I should take a test.

It was a Saturday morning. I had to use the washroom at 6am, and they say that the first morning bathroom break is the best time to do a pregnancy test. I waited those two minutes, and started to cry -- out of happiness and excitement of course. I got back into bed and told my husband that we were going to have a baby. He was excited, but told me that maybe I should take another test -- just in case. It too was positive.

Well, we spent the entire day telling our family, and being congratulated -- this would be the first grandchild in both mine and my husband's families -- but I didn't post anything on Facebook. I remembered how hurt I was reading about everyone's pregnancies before I was pregnant, and I just didn't want to do that to anyone else.

Thus, my journey through pregnancy began -- my epic, uncomfortable, agonizing journey.

October 19, 2011

A New Direction

I have decided to go a completely different direction in the SHOP. Instead of focusing on my photography, I am going to focus more on my drawings and the stationery. I love photography, but drawing is my #1!

I have created a new shop banner. There are a lot of changes going on with Etsy -- people now have the option to change their shop name...only once -- so I thought it was as good of a time as any to change up my shop banner, avatar, and business cards.

A subdued approach.

I still wanted to have the minimalist approach, but subdue the colours so they weren't so in-your-face. I did the same thing with my business cards, and pared down the amount of web addresses that were once on there -- there were three, plus my email address.

My favourite drawing is now on my business cards.

Now it's a lot more simple, with only my shop and Facebook addresses. That's the new direction that I'm going in. Simple. I noticed that a lot of my artwork was simple, and I needed to focus on that. I thought about it recently, and I feel that, when I first opened up shop, I struggled to get going and so I was just kind of throwing whatever items that I could into the shop; items that I didn't feel right about listing, but I wanted so badly to reach 100 items.

I will still have photography in the shop, but I find that a lot of my ideas are focused more around my drawings and stationery -- with which I use a lot of my drawings. I'm going to be phasing out my artist trading cards and my old stationery. As an item expires, it will not be listed again unless it is something that I am really happy with.

I guess what it comes down to is: am I really happy with it? If I am, then it will get put into the shop. If I love it, then someone else will too, right?

October 17, 2011

Ivan's Chair

Ivan loves to curl up on a wicker chair that we have in our living room. He often perches himself on the chair while we are away, and I hear him happily jump off as I walk through the door. Whenever I am sick, Ivan will sit in the chair and watch me, as if he feels bad about my being sick. This chair is Ivan's chair.


Ivan on The Chair winter of 2010 while I was sick at home.

The blanket on Ivan's chair is an afghan that my mother made me several years ago as a Christmas gift. A couple of weeks ago, my husband took the blanket off of the chair to lay on the floor for our son. Ivan jumped up onto the chair, and tried his best to get comfortable -- standing up, making circles, trying different positions -- but I could tell it wasn't the same for him without the afghan. So I guess what I should say is that the chair and the afghan belong to Ivan.

It was recently, while I looked at him so sweetly curled up in a little ball on this chair, that I got an idea for a new drawing: "Feel Better, Ivan". There's nothing quite like having a sick dog. I felt awful when, last Christmas, Ivan got into a package of chocolate fudge. He powered through it, but I have never seen a dog as sick as this little guy.


You can find the little print here in the SHOP
It is also available as a get well card here.


October 16, 2011

Yummy! Herb Seasoned Potatoes

Our eating habits have changed drastically since we bought a barbeque. Time was when we would cook ourselves a pot of rice and that was it, but now we thoroughly enjoy grilling chicken, steak, burgers, pork and even vegetables. My favourite is herb seasoned potatoes. Here is how I do it:

Start with potatoes that you have washed, diced, and placed into a bowl.
The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook.


Add a little oil, but not so much that you drown the poor potatoes.
I use sunflower oil, but I'm sure you could use any.


Add some Italian herbs. They literally come in a package called "Italian Herbs".
You can be as carefree as you like with the spices. The more the better!
I also usually add some fresh lemon juice, but did not have access to a lemon.


Get your hands in there and mix it all up!
This is not the time to be afraid to get your hands dirty.


Place the potatoes on some aluminum foil, and wrap it up into a little package.
I always place the potatoes on the barbeque as soon as I turn it on.
Potatoes take for-ev-er to cook, and I like to give them as much time on the 
barbeque as possible.

Because I was cooking chicken, the potatoes had about 45 minutes to cook.
They were delicious, but let me tell you, they are amazing with a little zing from the lemon juice.

Recap:
Wash and dice potatoes.
Add oil, herb seasoning, and fresh lemon juice.
Mix with your hands.
Place on aluminum foil and wrap into a little package.
Put on barbeque as soon as you turn it on to give ample time to cook.
Eat and enjoy!

October 12, 2011

Brand New Stationery!

I am ever so excited!

My fabulous stationery paper has finally arrived, and I am beginning to unleash the new cards in the SHOP.

The first card is a little "Get Well" card that I created using a drawing from my shop. Check it out here.

I have so many other cards that are going to be available, even Winter/Christmas/Holiday cards!

Enjoy :)


Brand new Holiday cards!

October 08, 2011

Birthdays to Come

That's me in the middle...the little blondie :)

Today is my birthday. I am now 28 years-old. A few weeks ago, my mom asked me what I would like to do for my birthday:

"Nothing," I said. "I'm at that age now where birthdays aren't as fun as they were when I was younger."

She told me that when my son is old enough to know what a birthday is that they will become special again. I was in agreement, until today.

Today, I realized why my birthday is no longer special: three years ago today I was in DisneyWorld for the first time, and I was celebrating my birthday by meeting Winnie-the-Pooh, Disney princesses, and getting my hair done like a princess. Dorky, I know, but I loved every minute of it!

Meeting Winnie-the-Pooh

Is it possible that something as special as being in DisneyWorld for my birthday could taint my thoughts of all birthdays to come? Will my son help make my birthday a wonderful experience again?

Stay tuned!

October 07, 2011

So Majestic

I fell in love with the mountains 15 years ago when my family took a trip to Jasper in Alberta, Canada. Ever since that trip, I have had a fascination with the mountains. They are so majestic and grand, looming over us as well travel along the winding roads between them. I have yet to encounter something as naturally amazing as the mountains.

A view from the ceremony site.

In August of this year, my husband and I took a trip to Calgary for a friend's wedding. Their ceremony was out in beautiful Kananaskis Country -- which is on the way to Banff, Canada. It had been quite a few years since I had seen the mountains. With every twist and turn we made in our car, getting closer to the mountains and our destination, we were in awe with everything we saw: beautiful turquoise lakes, rippling streams, looming mountains. Breath taking!

A beautiful "Point of Interest"


October 04, 2011

Grammar: My Two Cents

I am a bit concerned about the future of the English language, specifically grammar.

How many of you have encountered someone that uses the words "there", "they're" and "their" improperly? Have you read anything where the author confuses the words "your" and "you're"? These two are what bother me the most. We learned about these five words when we were in elementary school, and it's almost as if they flee our minds when we go to use them.

What concerns me about the future of grammar is so many people frequently misuse it. What is to become of the future generations if the people teaching them can't even spell properly?

I admit that I'm not perfect when it comes to grammar, but something has to be said about the lack of grammar in society today. You can blame it on anything you want, but the problem is still there, and it will continue as long as we let it.

That's my two cents.

October 01, 2011

Into the Sixth Month


Today my son is 6 months old. It is unbelievable how quickly the time has passed, and I am amazed by the new little things that he is able to do everyday. It could be something as simple as touching my cheek, but it means so much to me.

This morning we fed him food for the first time, and he loved it! He was all over the spoon; he was all over the bowl; he willingly opened his mouth to eat. It was fantastic how eager he was to eat. It was almost as if he was saying to us "how come we didn't try this sooner?"
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